I have recently learned how important self-care is. Mommy-bloggers and podcasts emphasize self-care and its importance when you are a mother. But I had to define self-care for myself before I could fully understand this.
So much of my content is directed towards kids, especially preschoolers because much of my day revolves around caring for and entertaining my three-year-old. But today I’m focusing on what self-care means for me.
What Is Self-Care?
Self-care is best described as a time you take regularly to do something that makes you feel better. Some common activities include getting your hair and nails done, taking a trip to the spa, and having a girl’s night out. More simple activities would be curling up with a book, having a bubble bath, or a coffee date with a good friend. The point is to have some time daily or weekly to yourself and do something that leaves you feeling energized, clear-headed, and refreshed.
What Self-Care Looks Like To ME
I love a good book, but carving out time to read a physical book isn’t high on my priorities. I prefer listening to audiobooks during my work commute. Bubble baths bore me. If my nails are clipped and my hair is clean I consider that a good day, so manicures and spa days aren’t really my thing. I’m too much of an introvert to be energized by “going out”. So I had to ask myself, “What does self-care look like to me?”
Crafting is what I found as my version of self-care. It doesn’t matter what project I’m working on as long as it’s exciting and that perfect balance of not too hard and not too easy. If it’s too easy, my mind wanders to my neverending to-do list and my long list of worries and anxiety. If it’s too hard, the project gets frustrating and stressful and not the relaxing, mind-clearing moment I need.
That being said, it’s important as humans to constantly challenge ourselves. Allowing boredom and complacency to take hold is an open door for anxiety, depression, and feelings of discontent. During my self-care time, my crafting time, if a project loses its excitement, I allow myself to put it aside. Yes, that means I have a basket full of unfinished projects that I promise myself I will finish “later” but that’s ok. This is MY time. Unless I’m crafting something for someone else with a deadline attached, it’s my project to do at my leisure.
To challenge myself after a current project becomes too boring, I’ll pull out a craft that is brand new. Or something old I tried once but found it too difficult. This week, I challenge you to do the same! Put aside your current project that hasn’t been delivering on its excitement and picking up something else. Here is a list of the 6 I’ve tried lately.
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1.) Clay Sculpting
I played with Sculpey Clay when I was younger, but only recently started messing with it again with Roo.
These are my two most recent creations that I’m pretty proud of. Jack Skellington, from Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas, is a bead that I put onto a wire bracelet. The baby dragon was Roo’s idea. It took a while to figure out how to make all the pieces attach smoothly together. I painted him with sparkly nail polish after baking.
Clay is such a fun craft and you are only limited by your own imagination on what to create. Even if you make nothing worth baking and keeping forever, squishing and shaping the clay is a great workout for the intrinsic muscles in your hands!
Some may argue whether baking is a craft. I believe it is. You take supplies and create something from them. The best part is that whatever you make won’t take up space on your shelves like a clay figure or piece of jewelry, because you get to eat it! Some baking creations really challenge your artistic skills by requiring decorating. Cakes and cupcakes come to mind when I think of a artistic and tasty creation. But candies, chocolates, and cookies can also be designed with a creative flourish. Even if you don’t consider yourself much of an artist, you can still bake something almost too cute to eat. Like these rainbow sugar cookies I made for Roo’s third birthday!
3.) Costume Making
When I started sewing, one of my first projects was a Halloween costume. I rarely sew everyday clothes because there is so much that could easily turn a cute top into an obviously handmade top. Costuming, however, is much more forgiving. As long as others can tell what character you’re going for, you will always get a, “Wow! You made that?”
I love the challenge of mixing patterns or coming up with my own to create a design and studying a picture of the character to find details in their costume I don’t want to forget.
Of course, you can always find a pattern for the costume you have in mind, especially if it is a well-known character, but I enjoy starting from scratch as much as possible.
My grandmother crocheted, she made each of us grandkids a blanket and left some behind for the great and great-great-grandchildren born after she passed. Luckily, my sister and her daughter were able to pick up the craft and carry on the tradition. I, on the other hand, cannot grasp this art of counting loops!
I intended to use a picture of my finished crochet project for this. Every so often, I pick up crocheting, hoping that something in my brain as changed to make it click. The good news is I get a little further each time I try. The bad news is I’m still far from making anything recognizable.
I see other mothers pulling out their knitting or crochet project while their kids play as part of their self-care routine. It seems so easy and the perfect blend of concentration and muscle memory. For me, it is just too frustrating and stressful to be anything close to self-care!
In my Bullet Journal Post, I talked about how journaling can help get you organized in any aspect of your life. There’s another benefit to journaling that can be a part of your daily self-care routine. Doodling in the margins, coming up with new fonts, hand-lettering the title pages, and just getting thoughts and musing onto paper can be soul cleansing and mind clearing. The best part of this craft is it can take as much time as you want to dedicate to it. A five-minute doodle in the “Bills” section to clear your mind, or a 2-hour title page for keeping track of your Bible Verses, it’s up to you and how much time you have at the moment.
6) Try a Craft Kit
Craft kits are a great option for those that want to try a new craft or test a skill without investing money in the supplies and tools needed. Most kits will include everything you need for the project!
In my Etsy shop, along with handmade baby mobiles, and party supplies, I sell craft kits. My kits include a Hot Air Balloon Mobile for nurseries and a Dreamcatcher. There are also some available for your kids to keep them busy while you work on yours.
Is crafting a part of your self-care routine? Should it be? Let me know in the comments what you do to energize yourself!